RANDOM

Every now and then (when I get backed up on the blog because I haven’t made time to organize my thoughts and write), I title a post “random.” And that is exactly what it is. Random pictures, random thoughts, randomness of every color because –man, life is full!

Let’s start with Rolo’s birthday.

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She got a “happy birthday” bone and a hat that she just about bit me for trying to put on her head. She also got a few new toys/treats at the PetPeople store. And I took her on a extra long walk and run Sunday afternoon.

When Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina’s coast we were left without power for three and a half days. The first night was candle light dinner and games by flashlight. After that, it was weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Hampton Inn.

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And Target wifi for school work.

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Mack spotted a cross out in the windy trees that first night without power.  Perspective is important. I could have used a better one over those few days.

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We have been watching a lot of UGA football…and other football, for that matter. Mack gets crazy when the games are on.

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We have been doing school the best we can lately. I don’t think we have had a normal week since we started in late August. Always something that comes up and changes our schedule around, but I am trying to go with the flow and also dig in at times and do extra work to keep up.  Here’s a text I sent to Josh the other day.

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On Wednesdays we have a writing class. The girls go for the first hour while Mack gets to sit with a friend and eat pizza, drink Coca-Cola, and play card games. Then, the girls get whatever is leftover and their own drink, of course, while we wait on Mack to finish his class.

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Mack cracks me up about his class. I know that he does NOT like to do anything in a hurry. Nothing. If I hurry him up, he shuts down. This has been like this forever. However, when you are in a class of 15 students, you must keep up or get left behind. So, he usually comes to the car and I ask, “How did it go today, Mack?” And he usually replies in a defeated tone, “As good as it could have, I guess.” What usually comes out is that the teacher was giving instructions and everyone else knew what to do, but he was having trouble figuring out what to do. The last two weeks he says he has a couple of new friends that he sits with, so he asks them questions and they ask him questions to help each of their homeschooled selves. ha!  Wonder of wonders that the teacher doesn’t sit with you and give personal attention to every move you make!! He is learning and growing.

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And today I snapped this photo because today is a new work week– Monday, a new month–October 1st, and I was starting The New Testament in my Bible reading–the book of Matthew. And I opened a brand new journal. It just felt so good. I love a fresh start right here in the last quarter of the year!

There is only one Potter

I can count on one hand the books I would want to read more than once. Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins is one of those.

“Motherhood is a place of dreamy hopes and crushed fantasy and the hard, hard work of sinners in relationship with one another day by day.” {page 7}

Isn’t that the truth?!?! Just the other night I was exchanging a light-hearted text with a friend about how the toddler years were actually a walk in the park compared to this season of 13 and 14 year olds…and an 11 year old boy that is tired of people always telling him what to do.

They each have strong personalities. They like different things, have different styles, enjoy spending their time doing different things, and none of them hesitate to speak their minds about what they like or dislike or why they think their way is the best way or the only way. And many of their likes don’t line up with my likes. And many times the style of clothing they like does not line up with what I would pick out for them. Their dreams for their life at this point aren’t always what I think might be best for them.

The truth about this season is that it is absolutely putting an exclamation mark on the fact that each of my kids are their own person. I am not them. They are not me. This shouldn’t be so hard to understand except for the fact that during all of those baby and toddler years we met their every need. We dressed them and they wore it. We took them everywhere we went without argument–or much, anyway. We fed them, changed them. We carried their tired butts to bed and knew they would soon be asleep without a worry in the world.

But oh how these little people that very much seem like extensions of ourselves grow up and let us know in not-so-subtle ways that, “Hey, Mom. You don’t own me.” And they’re right.

In Mere Motherhood, Cindy refers to the potter and the clay on page 156:

“I was not the potter. A potter was shaping my children, but it was not me.”

      “…‘Children are born persons.’ Until that moment, I had not heard her with my heart nor truly understood with my mind. My son was not my product. He was the work of a great artist: the Creator of all.

          It was a glorious moment.

          After I got over the insult of it, I began to feel much lighter and happier. You could almost hear me singing, ‘Ding Dong the witch is dead.’ I had misunderstood my role as mother and as a teacher, and it would still take me a while to understand how to go about not being the potter.”

Molly mentioned that an older girl she knew has a matching tattoo with her mom. I was thinking in my head, “It ain’t happening, girl.” But I have also stopped saying NEVER, seeing how I wasn’t a dog person but now Rolo flounces her fluffy self all around this house like she owns the place. I think Molly just likes to say things to see how I will respond. I am learning to be a good listener and let out a “hmmm” or “ok, interesting” from time to time. She also bought some hair dye that washes out over time. It’s red, and we used it on the ends of her hair. I didn’t want her to do it. I held her off from doing it for quite a while, but then when she got her birthday money and came to me for the 50th time about it, I decided to let her. And you know what? I think it is cute. I think it is just like her to want to do that. And I think it’s pretty obvious the people that disapprove. {The rebel in me wants to go back and do her whole head and maybe a pink streak down the middle just to let people have more of a shock! It’s hair, people. Relax.}

So I am learning to let go of my imagined control of each of my kids. That doesn’t mean I don’t have rules. That doesn’t mean I won’t discipline them when necessary. This isn’t about relaxing my moral standards at all. But letting them be their own person in their quirky ways helps me realize that I am not the potter, creating a masterpiece that I can show off one day and display to the world what an awesome mother I was. It helps me realize that all of their convictions and standards won’t always line up with mine. That won’t make me a failure. That won’t make them a failure. It will make us human.

“A wise person once said not to take too much credit or too much blame for your children.  That is comforting.

Part of the sanctification of motherhood is learning to trust God with our children. One day we will come to the end of what we can do for our children. In those early days our children cannot live without us, but slowly they grow up and move away. This is almost always heart-wrenching, but the process also gives us a chance to lean on our Heavenly Father and to trust Him more. God has entrusted us with a great treasure. It is our life lesson to hand it back.” {page 161}

Maybe you are also in this season of realizing how little control you have of these younger people in your home and this encourages you to relax and let them be who they are. I hope so! It is quite freeing. IMG_8379.jpg

 

UGA football!!!!!

This was an exciting weekend for Mack. He has had the season schedule posted on his wall since the day after last season was over. He loves Georgia football! GO DAWGS!

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Rolo is our mascot.

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And they had friends spend the night! Fun times.

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It was a good Labor Day weekend for all of us! {except for the part when I wrote “Happy Labor Day” on an index card for each kid with a list of chores. I mean, we should LABOR on Labor Day, right???}

Science brings laughs

Oh my goodness. Mack is such a boy. We are reading all about the digestive system in science. So there’s lots of talk about where the food starts and where it ends up. He laughs at the word sphincter and anus and rectum. I mean, we can hardly make it through a paragraph without his endless joking.

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This morning we were discussing how food is recognized and broken down, and I said something like, “Our bodies can recognize real food with ease and break it down without too much extra effort. You know, like eggs or fruit or vegetables. Real food. But then we eat junk food, like ice cream or candy and our bodies are like, ‘Wait a minute, what is this?’ and it has to work harder to figure out how to break it down. While it is over there trying to figure that out, germs may enter our body and because our body is busy trying to figure out what kind of junk we have put in our body, the germ doesn’t get fought off like it should and then we get sick.” {I know that isn’t perfectly said in a scientific way, but I was just trying to get the point across.}

Instead of realizing that eating real foods that are recognized by your body is best, Mack says, jokingly, “OHH, so we should eat the ice cream and junk we love a little more often so it won’t be a stranger to our body.  Then, our body will know how to break it down because it recognizes it.”

Um, no.  Good try.

Our whole year of Science is about the body and all the amazing things it does and all the amazing ways it changes throughout puberty. So y’all pray for me. I am gonna need it for teaching this stuff to Mack!

He found a caterpillar outside and was totally distracted by it while I was trying to read our History book to them. Instead of telling him to put away the caterpillar and leave it alone, I let him bring it inside and try to watch it and see what happens over time. However, after an hour or so Mack told me that “Taking care of this caterpillar is too much work. And I keep thinking I am gonna kill it if I don’t feed it or let it drink and breathe. I’m just gonna let it go.” I guess the nurturing characteristic has some room to grow.

He also told me that the book they are reading (Sweet and Sour) is “just ok.” They are short fables and parables and jokes from Eastern Asia. He said, “I think it is the kind of book you can enjoy better if you have cookies and lemonade while you’re reading it.”

Ok, I will see what I can do about that!

Second Week of School, you’ve been pretty good to us. I think we might make it through the year, though it’s probably way too early to say for sure.

 

41, like me

Josh turned 41 today! He is so easy to celebrate! So loving and kind and giving. A hard worker, a strong spiritual leader for our family, and my absolute favorite person on the planet.

HAPPY 41ST BIRTHDAY, JOSHUA LEE!

Circle=Power

So, last night I held the power. And it was awesome.

I was downloading the Circle Disney app and setting up each family member’s profile and trying to decipher which device went with which person.

After that, I selected what is allowed and what is not allowed as far as where the girls can go on the internet.  I could even limit their time on certain sites. THEN, I was able to choose a wake-up time and a bedtime for the devices. Awesome! You can totally put these devices to bed. Amazing. I chose 7 am wake-up and 9pm bedtime. I mean, 9:00 seems plenty late enough to put the devices to sleep, so I clicked “Done” and sat back in the chair, happy that I had a little bit of control as far as how long the kids can watch brainless youtube videos or how long they can listen to music at night.

I didn’t realize it was 8:56pm when I finished setting up this circle app business. So four minutes later, whaddayaknow?

Molly: “MOM, my laptop just shut off.”

Enter Ruby.

Ruby: “MOM, why did my music stop? I don’t understand.”

So there we were all in the living room, happy as can be.

Oh wait, that was me sitting in the living room happy as can be. They were in the living room as unhappy as can be.  I was totally loving having all the power. And the power isn’t available only when the device goes to sleep. I can press “pause” on any device activity at any time. The power!  I’ve got it with the Circle App.

So today we went to church, ate lunch at JJ’s Redhots and came home, where the girls found their devices to listen to music or watch those brainless youtube videos. I’ve set the time limit to an hour, so pretty soon I imagine I will see them gather in the living room to figure out what in the world I have done now to mess up their life! ha! I don’t feel bad at all about any of this. I find it thrilling, actually.

So parents, if you want to feel like you have a tiny bit of control as it relates to these devices that we all love to hate, then check out Circle! So far, I am impressed! Power to the Parents!!!!!!

TWO Years in Charlotte!

Two years ago we drove into this town, closed on a home and moved in. We knew pretty much no one. We would need to find new doctors and dentists, new grocery stores, new church, new friends, new pretty-much-everything.

And I am so glad we obeyed the Lord. He opened this door totally on His own initiative. He gave us confirming “words” all along the way as we walked through each open door. We rehearsed the “words” we had received and the faithfulness of the The Lord when the days were really hard and quite lonely in this new place.

I was reading in Jeremiah about when he was imprisoned, and he received a word from the Lord. In Chapter 32, verse 8 Jeremiah {after what God said would happen was followed up with an opportunity that matched the word from God}, said,“THEN I knew that this was the word of the Lord.” Evidently, Jeremiah believed he had a word from God but wasn’t sure what to do with the impression from God UNTIL the actual opportunity came to him to buy the land.

I remember in Decemberish of 2015 I had an impression that I sensed was from The Lord. I wrote about it in my journal, and I shared it with Josh. It was a picture in my mind of The Lord scooping me up and turning to walk away with me in His arms. I contemplated what exactly it might mean. I talked through it with Josh– ”maybe God is prompting me to withdraw more with Him and away from the distractions of the world…maybe no more social media, quit blogging? I don’t know, but it means something.”

About a month or two later is when we met a couple that we were going to Africa with in conjunction with our Pastor at the time. I just “happened” to attend the meeting because #1- it was our anniversary, #2- Josh’s dad had come to town with one of the men who would also be in the meeting, therefore he could stay with the kids in my absence, #3-our Pastor’s wife was unable to be at the meeting and I thought it would be nice to be there so that the wife of the couple we were meeting wouldn’t have to be the only lady. I didn’t know who this couple was beforehand, but I was happy to meet them and to hear their story. I remember standing in the hallway waiting for them when someone who knew of our meeting said to me, “So you have a pretty important meeting this afternoon, I hear!” I smiled and said, “Yes, we do,” though I wasn’t really sure what he was talking about. He probably didn’t realize how important this meeting was actually going to turn out to be for The Dorminy Family.

Long story short, the couple we met that day is now who Josh works for. The five years Josh tried to balance a full-time commercial real estate broker job and a full-time Executive Director of a ministry job ended up being a huge positive to who Josh works for now. He highly values business knowledge and experience and highly values ministry knowledge and experience. Josh was in the middle of both, only because of God directing his steps and opening up doors of opportunity that no man could close.

So back to that impression of God scooping me up and walking away. At the time when we were praying about the opportunity to move to Charlotte, away from all we knew in Georgia, we received specific verses and confirmations from the Lord. And one day it dawned on me– THAT IMPRESSION of the Lord scooping me up! This is what it meant. He was taking me away from all I knew, wanted me to start over.

But over the course of many months, that impression came to mean much more. The Lord provided this opportunity for our whole family, for sure. I could see clearly the advantages for Josh, even though he was being stretched in his new job. I could see the kids learning so much about making new friends, trusting God, and working through frustrations. They now say they love that we moved!! Let me just tell you, that is NOT what they were saying when we told them we would be moving away from Woodstock! But for me I had a harder time seeing the good. I trusted God would bring it full circle for me, I really did. But the day to day junk was challenging. I won’t bore you with all that went wrong in the house we were living in. It was a lot! But all throughout the adjusting to everything new, the Lord has been so personal, so faithful, so patient with me. That impression was not just a way to show me we were moving away from all we knew and loved. It was a call to flesh out the truth that JESUS IS ENOUGH. He really, really, really is.

And so today, on our two year anniversary, a few things happened that made me vividly recall the early days of living here and all the challenges we faced. #1) The washer flooded the upstairs because Mack didn’t set the load size exactly right. Enter screaming and many, many sopping wet towels as a result of trying to dry up the water that was making its way across the upstairs. #2) The chimney guys were here to service our wood burning stove and our gas logs before fall and found a small problem that will need resolving next week. I was trying to read to the kids from our history book while his large vacuum ran quite loudly. #3) Our dryer isn’t working right because the vent on the roof is the incorrect type of vent and is clogged. Still waiting to hear back from the roofer I called for help, so I decided to take all the dirty clothes to a laundromat. And there was a ridiculous amount of dirty clothes overflowing from the girls’ baskets!! Ridiculous. I may have firmly told them that “if it ever gets higher than the basket again, I will give you ONE outfit to wear for two straight weeks. You will have to wash it every day to have anything to wear outside of the house.” I can be dramatic like that. But I was totally serious.

So on our second anniversary in Charlotte we are still finding new places and doing new things!